AS & A Level

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Description

AS and A levels – sometimes called General Certificates of Education (GCE) or Advanced levels – are normally studied after level 2 in a BTEC or GCSEs, but you can take them at any age. They mainly involve studying the theory of a subject combined with some investigative work, and are usually studied full-time over two years at school or college. AS and A levels are at level 3 on the National Qualifications Framework.

AS levels generally take one year to complete and A levels are studied across two years. Generally students progress to AS and A levels in the academic year following their GCSE results, but you can take them at any age.

When the new AS and A levels were introduced in September 2015, AS and A levels were decoupled in England so that AS level results no longer count towards an A level and the AS level becomes a stand-alone qualification.

The newly developed AS and A levels in subjects from first teaching September 2015 are being taught in schools in England now. The first results for the new AS levels were summer 2016, and for the A levels, in summer 2017. Further subjects are being introduced for first teaching from September 2016, 2017 and 2018.

Fully linear A levels

A levels are now fully linear, with students sitting their exams at the end of the two-year course. As from January 2014, there is no longer a January assessment window. This change applies to current/legacy A levels as well as the new ones with first teaching from September 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.

Stand-alone AS qualifications

New AS levels are stand-alone qualifications and no longer contribute to an A level grade. Their purpose is to encourage curriculum breadth and the AS level is designed to be co-taught with the first year of the A level.

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